Snapchat has released the first details of a radical redesign aimed at helping users see more content from their friends – and less from people they don’t like all that much.
The new app will be released to selected users in the coming days, before rolling out to everyone within a few weeks.
In a blog published today, Snapchat said the update was designed to separate content produced by friends and professionals.
‘Until now, social media has always mixed photos and videos from your friends with content from publishers and creators,’ it wrote.
‘While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting Internet experiment, it has also produced some strange side-effects (such as fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves.’
When you install the update, Snapchat will be split in two.
It will still open to display the camera, making it easy to snap video or photos.
Chats and Stories from your friends can be viewed by swiping left, while Stories from ‘publishers, creators and the community’ can be viewed on Discover by swiping to the right.
The Friends page has also been redesigned to make it more ‘dynamic’ so that mates you speak to often are given more prominence than people you don’t really interact with all that much.
Snapchat added: ‘You can think of it as a more sophisticated Best Friends algorithm that makes it easier to find the friends you want to talk to, when you want to talk to them.
‘We’ve all had the frustrating experience of scrolling endlessly through our Chats to find the right person – now your friends will be listed in the order that you want to talk to them.
‘It might take a little while for the Friends page to learn the best way to display your friends, but the results are worth it.’
The Discover page will show you content from publishers and creators you’ve subscribed to at the top, with recommended Stories underneath which are chosen by an algorithm which learns from your behaviour and works out the sort of stuff you’re likely to want to see.
Curators will review and approve everything that gets promoted on the page.
Snapchat claimed ‘this balance of human review and machine personalization provides the best content experience’.
It continued: ‘Separating social from media has allowed us to build the best way to communicate with friends and the best way to watch great content, while addressing many of the problems that plague the Internet today.’